So, obviously, the draft was the big news from yesterday. There’s three posts on it below this, so scroll down if you’re looking for information on Philippe Aumont. After the first round, the M’s selected five more players – college 3B Matt Mangini, HS outfielders Denny Almonte, Daniel Carroll, and Joe Dunigan, and college RHP Nolan Gallagher. Don’t read anything into the fact that they loaded up on toolsy young outfielders and any hidden meanings about their intentions regarding Ichiro – the decisions are completely disconnected from one another, and they were simply taking the players they thought were the best available at the time of the pick.
Speaking of the M’s center fielder, it’s Ichiro Day at the P-I, as they got nearly the entire baseball department to spend the offday writing an opinion piece on what the M’s should do with him. David Andriessen writes the “What is he worth” article, Ted Miller pens the “just sign him” piece, Seth Kolloen gives the emotional heartstrings a tug, Bill Virgin discusses Ichiro’s lack of endorsement deals, and Greg Johns talks to Adam Jones about biding his time in Tacoma.
We wrote about Ichiro a few weeks ago, and nothing has changed since. For various reasons, Ichiro is an underappreciated player in many circles of the fanbase, and he’s clearly the best player on the team, one of the true superstars in baseball, and a remarkably valuable player. Losing Ichiro would be a crippling blow to an organization that needs to be adding talent, not subtracting it. The “Trade Ichiro For Pitching” crowd wants the M’s to cut off their nose to spite their face, and I couldn’t be more against that line of thinking. So, yea – the M’s are currently contenders, Ichiro is their best player, he shouldn’t be traded, and they should try their darndest to resign him this winter.